The American Museum of Natural History’s planned expansion has cleared the first hurdle. The Preservation and Parks Committee for the local community board (CB7) approved the expansion plans Tuesday night, DNAinfo reports. Now the full board will have a chance to vote on the proposal on October 5, following which the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission will vote on the matter.
Earlier this month, when the AMNH submitted its plans to the Landmarks Commission, it became evident that the organization had taken into account some of the local community’s concerns and altered the proposal slightly. The Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education and Innovation is expected to occupy a quarter of an acre of Theodore Roosevelt Park rather than half an acre. The new proposal would also save more trees.
Upper West Side residents however continued to voice the reservations they had in the past. They didn’t want to lose any of the park, and they found the expansion to be too large. In this new plan, the building is larger in size—about eight percent larger, but the Museum is using its existing real estate to accommodate the larger structure, by demolishing three existing buildings.
Others like local school teachers and members of the business community praised the proposal and said it would be good for the community, and Board’s committee overall was satisfied with the plans as well and commended the Museum for involving the community. The Studio Gang-designed expansion currently carries a price tag of $325 million.